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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : June 02, 2008

Can you cross the mobile social demographic divide?

Though more consumers are logging on to the mobile web and many social networks are popping up, it appears that consumers aren't logging on in such high numbers. According to a recent report from Local Mobile Search, a division of Opus Research, only about 6% of US consumers have logged on to a mobile social network.

by Kristina Knight

Nearly 75% of US consumers have a social profile on the Internet, however.

That, combined with a recent report from Opera Software indicating that mobile social sites are in the top ten most-visited sites for mobile consumers worldwide, may leave some marketers confused. The difference seems to be a demographic problem.

The youth market, primarily teens, are most interested in mobile social networks but they don't have the extra cash to handle mobile subscription fees. The 18-34 demographic is interested in mobile social sites but don't want to waste their minutes. Meanwhile, the 35-54 has the money to spend on extended data plans but are most interested in specific information - news, weather and driving directions.

Are mobile social spaces a good place for marketers to advertise then? At this point, it would appear not, but that doesn't mean the mobile space should be ignored altogether.

Though most consumers over the age of 18 aren't mobile networking, they admit using mobiles to gather their friends. For this reason, marketers would do well to include some mobile advertising in their budgets. An SMS message could be purchased on a movie ticketing mobile space or could be given along with driving directions to a local restaurant.

Tags: mobile advertising, mobile social marketing, mobile social networks

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  • Kristina, I agree with your points, which are particularly true for pure social networking sites. In our experience, social media sites (ones that focus more on content rather than just the networking component) attract a broader demographic on the mobile web.

    We recently launched SnapMyLife (, a mobile social media site that enables people from around the world to share and view photos directly from their cell phones. In May 2008, over 1 million unique visitors (with a wide range of ages from teens to their parents) visited the site using the mobile web. We believe that the wide age range, global demographic, and generally friendly photo content is appealing to potential advertisers.



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